Ross D. Franklin / Reuters file
We’ve reached that moment when we close the calendar on a year overflowing with bad behavior and prepare to open a new one, which, we trust, will be every bit as whiny as the one left behind.
But we have one last bit of business to attend to before we bid a tear-soaked farewell to 2006: Naming the recipient of the coveted Lead Hanky that goes to our Whiner of the Year.
There is no end of candidates, and they hail from around the world; from Olympic whiners to NASCAR whiners to soccer whiners to baseball, basketball and football whiners, to whining owners and even whining fans.
But there’s as little question in our mind as to who is the Whiner of the Year, as there was last year. And it’s no coincidence that our choice is the first repeat winner in the four-year history of WOW.
If this were televised, we’d precede the announcement with a kazoo chorus, but it’s not so you’ll have to imagine your own fanfare. Feel free to add a drum roll performed on the lids of empty dog food cans.
In 2005, T.O. headed the list just a month into the year, after Philadelphia lost the Super Bowl to the Patriots. This year, he managed to stay out of WOW’s top spot until July, when he published his second book, T.O., in which he revealed that no matter what bad thing happened to him and those around him, it was never his fault.
He led the list again in October, when he whined that emergency services personnel misquoted him when they said they had to take him to the hospital because of an apparent suicide attempt. And just a couple weeks ago, he was on top of the whining world again when he spit in the face of cornerback DeAngelo Hall during a football game because Hall was talking trash.
But it’s more than simply the number of times T.O. headed the weekly list. With him, it’s all about attitude. For T.O., a day without whining is like an ocean without water, a moon without craters, a sun without heat, a baked-bean dinner without flatulence.
He’s got two in a row. We wouldn’t be the least surprised if next year at this time he makes it three.